June 9, 2020
DAILY BRIEF: Language learning, meetings, indoor positioning, funding, acquisitions and startups
Playvation's Moomin Language School blends technology with playful learning and some well known trolls.
Moomin Language School
All the daily Finnish business news that works: MeetingPackage, Iiwari, FA Solutions, Hilltip, Playvation and the Finnish startup scene make headlines.
MeetingPackage starts a distribution partnership in the US, Iiwari and Playvation raise seed funding, FA Solutions provides a cloud-based solution in the Baltics, Hilltip is acquired by Sdiptech, and GNF looks at the Finnish startup scene during the pandemic.
MeetingPackage, a Finnish technology provider for hotels and meeting spaces, has started a new distribution partnership with US-based Davinci Meeting Rooms. MeetingPackage will be building connectivity through a new application programming interface (API) service to Davinci’s 5 000 meeting spaces across the US, as well as offer Davinci’s meeting spaces to a global network of several hundred partners. The Finnish firm has carved out a unique position in the market as an integration layer between global meeting room inventory and customer-facing platforms.
Finnish startup Iiwari has raised 1.5 million euros in a seed funding round led by deep tech fund Voima Ventures and participated by angel investors in the US and UK. The funding will be used to commercialise its indoor positioning solutions based on ultra wide band (UWB) technology developed at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, from which the startup has acquired the key licences. The indoor positioning market is growing globally across many sectors, such as retail, smart offices and hospitals, but has struggled with expensive and unreliable technologies. Iiwari’s UWB-based technology promises greater accuracy and cost efficiency compared to competing solutions, including wi-fi and Bluetooth. Furthermore, the company has developed technology for tracking an unlimited number of items simultaneously, giving it a strong competitive edge over other UWB-based solutions providers.
Finnish financial technology company FA Solutions has partnered with Luminor Bank to streamline its cross-border pension asset management operations in the Baltics. Luminor is the largest independent bank in the Baltics, with a central office in Estonia and branches in Latvia and Lithuania. FA Solutions has worked closely with the bank since 2019 to implement a cloud-based solution that consolidates its multi-country systems into a single platform.
FA Solutions / Screenshot
Hilltip, a Finnish manufacturer of road maintenance equipment adapted for pickups, smaller lorries and tractors, has been fully acquired by Swedish technology group Sdiptech. The company’s production facility based in Jakobstad, Finland, mainly manufactures snowploughs and salt spreaders, but the company also offers road and field maintenance equipment for all seasons. The products are distributed through a large network of retailers across Europe and, as of this year, also in North America. The company was valued at 16.2 million euros on the day of transaction, and the final purchase price will range between 12.8 million euros and 23 million euros depending on its earnings development.
Hilltip / Facebook
Playvation, a Finnish provider of language-learning tools for children, has raised 700 000 euros in a seed funding round led by Sparkmind.vc, which it will use to rapidly scale the international growth of its core product, Moomin Language School. It will especially target key markets in Asia and Europe, leveraging the globally recognised brand of Moomins. The funding also enables it to fund key hires for its global sales and marketing team. Moomin Language School provides digital story-based language learning content for children between three and 10 years of age. The research-based education also includes weekly group sessions that emphasise playful interaction and learner engagement.
Moomin Language School
Click the headline and have a read of our deep dive into the local startup scene amidst the current pandemic.
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